MoHUA launches ‘Swachh Toycathon’, a competition to design toys from waste material

New Delhi: In response to Prime Minister’s clarion call for making the toy industry environment friendly, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is taking a step towards achieving circularity in toy sector. Under the National Action Plan for Toys, MoHUA has launched Swachh Toycathon, a competition for new ideas to transform waste into toys.

This competition is being launched under the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’, a fortnight of activities to galvanize action around Swachhata from 17th Sept. 2022, Seva Diwas, till 2nd Oct. 2022, Swachhata Diwas.

Secretary, MoHUA, Mr. Manoj Joshi launched the Swachh Toycathon by unveiling the online platform on MyGov portal and releasing the toolkit. The competition seeks to explore solutions for use of waste in creation or manufacturing of toys.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manoj Joshi urged the creative minds to come up with innovative solutions that meet the growing demand for toys on one hand and address the impacts of solid-waste on the other.

Prof. Uday Athvankar, Prof. Manish Jain from IIT Gandhinagar, and Ms Vidyun Goel from Toy Bank spoke about toy-games design, cognitive science, and their views on the effect of the initiative on toy industry during the occasion.

Professor Uday Athavankar, (Retired Professor and head, Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay) emphasized on the enhancement of cognitive processes of children by playing games. He spoke about the need of changing the way we teach children with the advancement in technology.

Prof. Manish Jain, (Principal coordinator of Center for Creative Learning, in IIT Gandhinagar) said that toys must remain a source of wonder and joy for children launching them on journeys of imagination. He illustrated with examples that household waste items can be turned into toys that teach children about basic principles of science.

Ms. Vidyun Goel, Founder-ToyBank spoke about the work being done her organisation in re-purposing old and discarded toys to ensure the ‘Right to Play’ of children of marginalised communities.

Speaking on framework of Swachh Toycathon, Joint Secretary, MoHUA, Ms. Roopa Mishra emphasised on the comprehensive approach being covered in the initiative as well as the way forward after the competition. She presented the toolkit of the competition that detailed the modalities of participation.

The Center for Creative Learning, IIT Gandhinagar is MoHUA’s Knowledge Partner for the initiative, they will be providing support on aspects of pedagogy and creativity.

The Swachh Toycathon is a national competition for individuals and groups. It is based on three broad themes (i) FUN & LEARN that seeks ideas for design and early prototype of toys from waste at home, workplace and surroundings, (ii) USE & ENJOY that seeks ideas for design and models of games and play in the park/open spaces made from waste and (iii) NEW & OLD that seeks ideas/solutions/working models for circularity in toy industry.

The competition seeks entries of designs of toys and play-zones using waste and recycled material, prototypes of eco-friendly toys and packaging, and other innovative ideas rethinking the toy industry.

Applicants can register via the website during the period of 26th Sept. 2022 and 11th Nov, 2022. Applicants can submit applications in all or any of the three themes of (i) Fun and Learn (ii) Use and Enjoy and (iii) New from Old.

Shortlisting of applications are expected to be completed by 30th Nov 2022, and evaluation by Dec 2022. The assessment criteria will be based on (i)Novelty of Idea (ii)Design (iii) Safety (iii)Usage of Waste Material (iv)Scalability and Replicability (v)Future Waste and climate and social implications.

The top three entries from each category and thematic area will be provided certification at the national level and creative learning workshops will be facilitated at IIT Gandhinagar. Winning start-ups/individuals will be provided incubation support by IIT Kanpur, as well as linkages with Urban Local Bodies to implement awarded play zone designs and with the toy industry to promote and scale up awarded designs.